KSWI’s Legendary Performances: The Marshall Tucker Band in Ortley, NJ

August 16, 2012

Everyone in the world was at the Surf Club last night seeing THE ONE and THE ONLY – The Marshall Tucker Band.

When I mean everyone, I mean an entire below average, but big bar filled with New Jersey’s middle-aged finest who have “tanned” themselves the color of Mars. I’m talking husbands and wives who have lobster colored skin and are going to tie one on because it’s a Wednesday night and the Tucker crew is rolling through.

Sure, no one in their right mind can name more than 2 songs by the fabulous Marshall Tucker Band, but that’s not stopping any of them from having a good time or me either for that matter. Honestly, “Heard it in a love song” was not on my musical radar before yesterday. I only knew of the existence of that song because I knew “Can’t You See”, but was curious what else these guys sang and wikipedia explained to me that “Heard it in a love song” was also a big deal. I’ll take your word for it, wikipedia.

I was there for “Can’t You See” as well as to people watch and get hammered and all of that was accomplished.

WOOOOOOOOO!!!!

I sang and “WOOO!!!!”-ed myself hoarse during “Can’t You See”. But before we get to what was the final song of their set prior to their numerous encores, let me try to explain what I witnessed for about an hour into the lead-up of the only song I knew.

It was great because it was terrible. Terrible is harsh actually. Some members of the band were severely carrying the weight of the others. If I had any control over the band, the lead singer would’ve been fired last night because he didn’t sing. I don’t think I wanted to actually hear him sing, but he didn’t sing, so what’s the point.

What complete caught me off guard was the flute playing. Did you know The Marshall Tucker Band had a ton of flute in it? I don’t know how I blocked this out, but The Marshall Tucker Band has A LOT of flute playing in it. They’re Jethro Tull meets the Allman Brothers. So, that was surprising watching numerous flute solos. And those solos, more ridiculous than the one from “Anchorman”.

The people at the show – which there were a ton of people there – were getting DRUNK. And, probably the drunkest people there were The Marshall Tucker Band. I’m not sure which guys are the few remaining original members or at least have been in the band for a long time, but the lead singer is a fat mess who can’t sing. He plays more tambourine than sings and he’s the lead singer. They have two hit songs “Can’t You See” and “Heard it in a Love Song”. He doesn’t sing either one of them. They either have the crowd sing it or he has the rhythm guitarist sing it (who later was too drunk to play his guitar, so a guitar tech came on stage and played it for him) or the hardest working man in their band – the keyboardist/flute player/saxophone player – would sing it. The latter who did everything, we were calling the Swiss Army Knife of The Marshall Tucker Band. The bassist was stuck in one position the entire time with his back up against the speaker stack. The lead guitarist played well, but disappeared more or less in the second half of the show once that guitar tech came on because now that guy became the lead guitarist. And, you couldn’t see the drummer, but he was no Tommy Lee – I’ll say that.

Many times the lead singer would just wonder off stage for 5 minute breaks while the band would proceed to solo and solo and solo. They played 6 songs in the first hour they were on stage, which was impressive because they really did no banter between audience and them or each other. During “Can’t You See” they pulled some floozie up on stage. I would also guess she’s a floozie they brought there. Either way, the woman was doing 10x more work than the lead singer who didn’t sing. She was dancing, wearing provocative clothing, and played a mean tambourine. I sang myself near hoarse during “Can’t You See”.

“Can’t You See” is undeniably a great song. Whether sung by a professional or a bar of boozed up middle-aged people looking like they are from a 1950’s western dressed in red face to turn white people into the savage Indians. The lyrics speak the truth to all of us…

I’m gonna take a freight train down at the station, Lord
I don’t care where it goes
Gonna climb a mountain, the highest mountain, Lord
And gonna jump off, ain’t nobody gonna know
Can’t you see, oh, can’t you see,
What that woman, Lord
She been doin’ to me
Can’t you see, oh, can’t you see
What that woman, been doin’ to me

I feel you, brother. A woman has driven this man to suicide and/or abandoning all the life that he knows. He’s going to either take a train to the ends of the Earth just to get away or he’s willing to plummet to his mortal demise from the tallest mountain. Why? Because of what “she been doin’ to me”. I think we all can relate.

I’m gonna find me a hole in the wall,
I’m gonna crawl inside and die
’Cause my lady, now a mean old woman, Lord
Never told me goodbye
Can’t you see, oh, can’t you see,
What that woman she been doin’ to me
Can’t you see, oh, can’t you see,
What that woman, she been doin’ to me

Literally, literal lyrics at this point. No need for poetry or metaphors or allegories in woe is me tale from The Marshall Tucker Band. The man is going to find a hole in a wall to crawl inside and die because his lady, now a mean old woman, just will never leave him alone. It’s that bad. It’s THAT bad. And then the call for help, the pleading to the Lord above. Can’t you see? Oh! Can’t you see?! What that woman, she been doin’ to me.

I’m gonna buy me a ticket as far as I can,
I ain’t never comin’ back
I’m gonna take me that south-bound,
All the way to Georgia now,
‘Till the train it run out of track
Can’t you see, oh, can’t you see,
What that woman, she been doin’ to me
Can’t you see, oh, can’t you see,
What that woman, what she been doin’ to me

The last stanza shows a little hope that our everyman may have given up on suicide. He put a suicide to his suicide thoughts. Now, he’s a little more clear minded and he’s planning on at least taking a train to the Southern most parts of Georgia, which I believe is Florida. I might be wrong on that, but I think the farthest South you can get in Georgia is Florida. Anyway, agree to disagree – when in Rome. But we all understand this man’s burden and the burden is a bad woman. And a bad woman is a burden worth singing about.

They must’ve played the chorus 25 times if they played it once, and I sang it every fucking time. CAN’T YOU SEE?! WOOOOOO!!!! CAN’T YOU SEE?!!!!! WOOOO!!! WHAT THAT WOMAN!!!!! SHE BEEN DOIN’ TO ME!!!!!! WOOOOO!!!! CAN’T YOU SEE?! WOOOOOO!!!! CAN’T YOU SEE?!!!!! WOOOO!!! WHAT THAT WOMAN!!!!! SHE BEEN DOIN’ TO ME!!!!!! WOOOOO!!!! CAN’T YOU SEE?! WOOOOOO!!!! CAN’T YOU SEE?!!!!! WOOOO!!! WHAT THAT WOMAN!!!!! SHE BEEN DOIN’ TO ME!!!!!! WOOOOO!!!! CAN’T YOU SEE?! WOOOOOO!!!! CAN’T YOU SEE?!!!!! WOOOO!!! WHAT THAT WOMAN!!!!! SHE BEEN DOIN’ TO ME!!!!!! WOOOOO!!!! CAN’T YOU SEE?! WOOOOOO!!!! CAN’T YOU SEE?!!!!! WOOOO!!! WHAT THAT WOMAN!!!!! SHE BEEN DOIN’ TO ME!!!!!! WOOOOO!!!! CAN’T YOU SEE?! WOOOOOO!!!! CAN’T YOU SEE?!!!!! WOOOO!!! WHAT THAT WOMAN!!!!! SHE BEEN DOIN’ TO ME!!!!!! WOOOOO!!!! CAN’T YOU SEE?! WOOOOOO!!!! CAN’T YOU SEE?!!!!! WOOOO!!! WHAT THAT WOMAN!!!!! SHE BEEN DOIN’ TO ME!!!!!! WOOOOO!!!! ONE MORE TIME!!!!! CAN’T YOU SEE?! WOOOOOO!!!! CAN’T YOU SEE?!!!!! WOOOO!!! WHAT THAT WOMAN!!!!! SHE BEEN DOIN’ TO ME!!!!!! WOOOOO!!!! ANOTHER TIME!!!! CAN’T YOU SEE?! WOOOOOO!!!! CAN’T YOU SEE?!!!!! WOOOO!!! WHAT THAT WOMAN!!!!! SHE BEEN DOIN’ TO ME!!!!!! WOOOOO!!!! ONE MORE TIME?!!!! … and that was when I yelled back, I’LL SING THIS TO MIDNIGHT, YOU MOTHERFUCKER!!! … it was 11:30, so 30 minutes is awhile to sing a chorus… CAN’T YOU SEE?! WOOOOOO!!!! CAN’T YOU SEE?!!!!! WOOOO!!! WHAT THAT WOMAN!!!!! SHE BEEN DOIN’ TO ME!!!!!! WOOOOO!!!! CAN’T YOU SEE?! WOOOOOO!!!! CAN’T YOU SEE?!!!!! WOOOO!!! WHAT THAT WOMAN!!!!! SHE BEEN DOIN’ TO ME!!!!!! WOOOOO!!!! ONE LAST TIME!!! CAN’T YOU SEE?! WOOOOOO!!!! CAN’T YOU SEE?!!!!! WOOOO!!! WHAT THAT WOMAN!!!!! SHE BEEN DOIN’ TO ME!!!!!! WOOOOO!!!! WOOOO!!!! WOOOOO!!! WOOOO!!! Woooo…

I’m ready to go home now.

Outside of that, a couple of friends of mine almost got us into a fight with the bouncer(s) and/or never let into the place within 10 seconds of us being there. We got a talking to like we were 5 years old. We get inside the place, a guy issues a warning to my friend for accidentally slightly bumping into the guy’s wife. Another friend knocked over a guy’s beer accidentally as well and the guy wanted to kill him. And, the best moment of the night, was my friend’s cousin (who is in late 40’s or 50’s and is so Jersey tan right now he’s actually African black) yells at a guy who is wearing a tye dye cut off t-shirt and the guy doesn’t respond, so he starts yelling “Hey, Larry Bird rookie card in mint condition!” at him because the guy did have that young Larry Bird flowing white blonde hair. It was hilarious.

So, go see The Marshall Tucker Band. Watch out for fights, but have fun making a fool of yourself. CAN’T YOU SEE?!!!!

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4 Responses to “KSWI’s Legendary Performances: The Marshall Tucker Band in Ortley, NJ”

  1. WOOOOOO WEDNESDAY NIGHT IN JERSEY!

  2. tiffanized said

    This is what living in the south is like all the time.

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